Ready for Takeoff! – Josh Vanrenterghem Update June 2024

But to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. Nevertheless, when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.

2 Cor 3:15-16

I want to begin this update with a wonderful story. Last month I had the opportunity to go to an event hosted by Voice of the Refugees, a Christian non-profit dedicated to helping refugees get back on their feet. The event was a ‘cultural celebration,’ where my friends Tori, Katia, and I went to learn about a bunch of different countries and make relationships. It was an exciting event with dancing and a bunch of different desserts and food to try. Through it I met an Afghani refugee who wanted to talk about Christianity and Islam, so the next day we went to talk at a cafe! We had a great, respectful discussion and we both learned a lot about each other and our respective religions. Though he is still blinded to the truth that Jesus is God, we have a good connection and we will meet again. That evening during my devotional time with the Lord, He gave me a great encouragement as the Spirit brought 2 Corinthians 3:16 to mind, though I didn’t even know what it said! Even though it is addressing he Jews, Muslims have the same blinders, denying the deity of Jesus. Yet, as this verse says, when they turn to the Lord, He will take away the veil! Also, that same time I was reading a Spurgeon devotional, and he says at the beginning, “the great fact on which genuine faith relies on is, that ‘the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.’” God comforted me greatly after taking that anxious step of going out and speaking with this kind Muslim. His name is Jafar, please be praying with me that he would come to faith in Jesus!

This month has been full of preparation, both preparing myself and the Lord preparing me. The highlight was the Vacation Bible School I got to serve in, it was a blast. I love to teach and lead kids at the church. This year the theme of the VBS was the jungle. We went all out with decorations, and we ended up with over 60 kids attending. Throughout the VBS the kids learned about, “the Seven C’s”: Creation, Corruption, Catastrophe, Confusion, Christ, Cross, and Consummation. I had the opportunity to teach the older aged kids in the class I served, and it was the greatest joy seeing them understand the lessons and the gospel, and enjoy the VBS as the week went on.

In the Mission Training School, we went through Dave Ramsey’s course on Financial Peace, which was a blessing. Even though I have done it before, to see it as a group in the context of the mission field gave me a lot of insight. As we were going through that course I doubled down and spent a lot of time doing extra work to prepare myself financially for my upcoming trips this July. It has made my schedule absolutely insane, one day I worked almost 16 hours. But I love to work hard, and God has blessed me greatly with generous people giving above what I ask for services. We also have been going through a self-defense class, which has been exciting and important. Besides having better safety consciousness, it also reminded me to keep improving and maintaining my physical health, to be able to protect myself and others, and to be able to do whatever the Lord calls me to in the future.

This coming month of July is going to be insane, so please be praying for me! I have tickets for 3 back-to-back trips. First, I am going to be connecting with my home church in Texas, Calvary Chapel North Texas, for a week and a half, starting the 17th. I will be staying with my grandparents, and then helping at the church’s VBS. Then I fly to Costa Rica for 5 days to get vision as I meet with Cory, my pastor from Peru, as we visit a kid’s safe home and pray for direction about starting one in Peru. Finally, I fly straight to Oregon to be at a friend’s wedding.

Although it is going to be a lot of things, thank the Lord I am not doing it alone, He will be with me the whole way!

Prayer Requests

  • Protection for the Costa Rica trip and God’s leading in a possible future work of housing children rescued from sex and organ trafficking in Peru
  • For my Muslim friend Jafar to be saved
  • Good health for the upcoming back-to-back trips in July (aka, that I don’t get sick)
  • Never stop growing in my relationship with the Lord Jesus each day

Praise Reports

  • Received funding for flights to Costa Rica
  • Getting to create a relationship with Jafar
  • Success of the VBS in reaching kids with the gospel
  • God’s great provision and grace.